A poker Rookie's Life

    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog 'A poker Rookie's Life'.

      I am Max a computer science student from Berlin, Germany and I've been playing poker for about a year now. I once made an initial $20 pay-in at pokerstars.com and since then I have grinded the micro stakes cash games to build up a bankroll. Most recently I started playing NL10 and already had some decent success putting my current bankroll at around $500. At this point I want to join into the bankroll challenge and set my goal to reach a bankroll of $5000. Besides joining the challenge with this weekly blog I started an additional external blog which will not only contain my weekly bankroll changes, but also more detailed updates about my poker progress and other things in my life. You can find the blog at

      mcs1408.tumblr.com

      Regarding my bankroll challenge, let me first give you an overview about what I have played in the recent past. At the end of May this year I picked up my bankroll at around $80 dollars and since then have grinded through the microstakes. It took me about 60k hands to get my bankroll to my achieved $200 from where I moved up to NL5. Another 60k hands more and I made it up to $400 from where I started playing NL10 about one and a half weeks ago. NL10 has been VERY kind to me so far. In only a little more than 6k hands I made a net profit of more than $130 currently sitting at a win rate of 21.72BB/100hd at this stake. I am sure it will be very hard to keep that winrate, but I will do my very best to at least stay profitable and I will keep you up to date at this blog :)

      edit: A first update for the bankroll challenge: Since I reached my starting bankroll of $500 I played 524 hands and I currently sit at $533.46
  • 24 replies
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,227
      Hey Max,

      Welcome to the 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' bankroll challenge. we will be looking forward to your first update which you should post by Monday of each week in Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread.

      Have fun :gl:

      Laz
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      First week done and I successfully made my first mistakes! I thought I had to make my updating posts every Monday, but as the bankroll article already went live I should have probably done this beforehand.

      Powerwise the week was kind of rough, but also very interesting. Since I reached my starting bankroll of $500 I already made it up to almost $550. This meant that since I moved up to NL10 I won almost $150 in just a couple thousand hands. At that point it felt like magical Christmas land, but I was sure while I probably was playing pretty decent during that time frame I also got insanely lucky. Luck equals out in the long-run though and from time to time you are not playing all that well and I even fell down below the $500 mark again by the end of the week.

      I especially want to highlight a situation I had shortly before quitting my session on Thursday. The session was not running all that well and I was down $15 already. I was feeling pretty confident at that moment though, so I continued playing, as such losses are pretty much standard and nothing to worry about. At one point though I had two big hands running at two different tables. At one table I had pocket queens, an overpair to the board. I pretty much knew I was ahead till the river and once we pushed our stacks in the middle I had to find out that my opponent held pocket sixes and hit a set on the river. Those things do happen from time to time though and while I usually curse my opponent a bit after sucking me out like that I come back to a clear mind shorty after and continue playing normally. This time though it was the first time that I had another huge hand running at a different table at the same time.

      I sat in the BigBlind with AKo and was facing an openraise from middle position and a call from a recreational player in the small blind (VPIP 40-50%). I chose to do a squeeze play and raise from my position which earned me two calls. The pot was already over $4 and the flop came K76 with two diamonds. The fun player in the small blind lead out for a potsize bet and at this exact moment the suckout at the other table happened. Without further analysis I called that bet. The player in middle position raised all in for another $4.50 which the player in the small blind called. I called, too, only to see I was almost drawing dead to another set of sixes that the player in middle position had hit.

      A day later I analyzed the situation with a friend and we came to the following conclusion. If somebody had not missed that flop completely he probably had a set, a king with a worse kicker or a flushdraw. Against that range I am pretty much ahead with AK. On top of that on the flop I only have two more bets behind, which means if I want to see a showdown I have to do so for my whole stack anyway. Facing the donk bet from the small blind I could assume that he would do so more with a kind with a worse kicker instead of sets and flushdraws. besides that there are just more week kings in his range than flushdraws and sets, so I should probably raise all in here. Usually the player from middle position should fold then having missed the flop and I probably get a call from a worse hand out of the small blind. A call could be fine in that situation, too, as the middle position player is probably folding anyway (although he gets better odds for a flushdraw) and the fun player would be able to "value bet" off the rest of his stack on turn or river. Now that the middle position player raises and the small blind player calls as well I pretty much know that I am beat. There might be combinations where one of the two has a weaker king and the other has a flushdraw though which I am still in good shape against. This alone would be enough to call, as I get 7:1 for my money which means I only have to win the pot 1 out of 8 times to break even.

      All in all we found out that calling of the small blinds bet on the flop was an acceptable play and that calling the middle position players raise was pretty much mandatory, so everything is fine? Hell no! There are several ways you can come to a solution and while sometimes different ways lead to the same conclusion and the way you chose lead to the right decision, it does not mean your way was correct! I came to the right decision by not thinking at all. I pretty much just clicked buttons because I was on tilt and called of my whole stack. I would have probably done so, too, if a call would have been totally wrong and that’s exactly what matters. You always want to be totally aware of your decisions and play the best you can, or it will hurt you in the long run as more often than not your impulsive decisions will be wrong!

      I stopped the session shortly after those two hands as I was totally tilting and down $40 by that point. Fortunately the weekend was kinder to me again and I made it back up to over $500 currently sitting at $508.05 having played a total of 5288 hands. Before I end today I want to leave you with two results graphs of mine. The first one shows my overall results since I started my grind back in may, the second one are the results I had since I started the challenge.





      If you want to learn a little more about my Magic: the Gathering background you can check out this weeks update at my blog at mcs1408.tumblr.com
      Now back to the grind and see you next week!
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Great news coming my way! The WSOPE is starting in two weeks in my lovely hometown Berlin, Germany. I was talking to a couple of my poker friends about who is going to play in the WSOPE and one of them offered me staking for one of the events! I ll be freerolling the 550€ buy-in "The Oktoberfest" for 10% of my action (he gets 90%). This is an amazing opportunity for me to play in such a high stake tournament while not risking anything of my small beginners bankroll. I'm really looking forward to the event and I will for sure report the experience.

      Regarding online poker I am mostly a cashgame player. To prepare for the live event I threw in a tournament sunday today and bought into 8 events ranging from $0.27-$4.40 in buy ins with a total buy in of $16.44. The first couple of those did not go all that well. In a KO tournament I got Kings in the very first hand facing an openraise and a 3bet. I chose to way overshove in that spot to look as fishy as possible and get calls from worse hands. That worked so far and I got a call from 77 and QTs with 2 bounties on the line, only to see two more sevens on the flop. I scored a first $0.55 event for $1.50 in between and earned two $1 bounties in a progressive super KO only to loose in that one with a flopped straight against an overpair AA with him making a backdoor FH.

      Everything changed in the last event I played, though. A $3.30 regular NLHE tournament. I had quite a good run in the 1360 player field and even climbed up all the way to the chiplead with 300 players remaing and 198 getting payed. By the time we made it into the money I had lost half my stack again, though, and was looking to chip up again. I won two crucial coinflips and was soon back up to the top of the leaderboard while laddering pay-jumps. I was even back up to the chiplead with only 30 players remaining. To crown my first big tourney I made it to the final table with the run coming to an end with a 7th place finish for $118.32. With my total tournament buy-in that meant a profit of more than $100 which was more than a 6th of my current bankroll.

      I had some very successfull cashgame sessions during the last week, too, playing 5331 hands profiting $74.45. With another $10 VIP stellar reward added. This brought my total bankroll to currently $697.88.

      I hope I can continue to run this good. See you guys next week!
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Week three has been a quiet one for me. I played a bit of cash game, I played some more practicing tournaments. NL10 is still very kind to me and slowly but surely I keep thinking it might be as soft as it looks like. By know I have win rate of 12bb/100hd over 21k hands which is even higher than the win rate I had on NL2 and NL5. I think I have made some huge leaps regarding my play skill, but I am also a doubtful person and always keep in mind that it all could be just luck. Over the last week I played 4.133 hands of cash game, as well as 5 tournaments (for 597 more hands) of which I cashed three, but had no deep run as the week before. My total online profit this week was +$85.22 putting my current bankroll at $783.10. This makes for an overall profit of +$283.10 since the start of my challenge, which is 6.3% of the way towards my target bankroll.

      In addition to that we had another private live cash game session this friday. I usually buy in for three bullets of 10€ each (we are playing NL10) and be done with the evening if I bust all of them. The last couple sessions I have always been down to my last bullet before I was able to turn things around and score some huge pots. This time it was exactly the same. I already busted twice in unfortunate spots and was in for my last bullet. Having 100BB is not all that deep if there is loads of straddles as well as pretty loose opening and 3bet ranges. At one point I tank-called a friends limp/4bet-shove with AQs (which might or might not have been correct) only to run into his KK. Luckily I hit an Ace and even made a full house till the river and doubled through him. Starting with that suck out the session turned around for me. I got several big hands over the rest of the evening and scored some huge pots in difficult spots. In the end I packed a nice stack of 140€ for a total profit of 110€ for that evening.

      Upcoming next will be the WSOPE event “The Oktoberfest” this Friday, that I get staked for. I am really looking forward to that one and it will be insanely fun, as at least ten people I know will play in the event, too. Let’s see if we can get something big going! :)

      If you want to learn some more about me in person you can always check out my personal blog at mcs1408.tumblr.com This week I wrote about my diploma thesis and what it is all about!
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Regarding online poker my last week has been even more quiet than the last one. I have merely played 1.8k hands in cash game loosing a little bit. Besides that I gave tournaments another try as I wanted to prepare for the WSOPE event I played on Friday. Over all I played an additional 20 online tourneys and went about break even. Over all I lost around $10 during the last week which is more to me not playing all that much than having a bad run. Unfortunately I will have to continue playing very little, as my Diploma Thesis is going to take over for the next six weeks.

      One thing I do want to talk about though and that is the WSOPE event No2 "The Oktoberfest" I was playing. I again have to send huge thanks to my friend who staked me and made it possible to play in my first big live tournament which I could have never supported with my current bankroll. The event itself was a blast. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, the professional handling of each situation and just sitting within sight of your opponents. It reminded me a lot to bigger magic tournaments that I used to play a lot. Before the event I already knew that a good friend of mine that I regularly play with and that I do respect a lot was sitting two to my right. It is a little bit uncomfortable to know such a good player to your direct left, but it also made the total situation way more comfortable to me, as I had somebody to talk to the whole time.

      During the first level of the tournament we played 6-7 handed, as spots were still left open for late registration and probably some players did not show up in time, too. I played a couple broadway hands and was slightly above starting stack sometimes hitting top pair and getting some value out of the two calling stations at our table. The most interesting situation during the first level was me openraising in late positiong with As4c, getting called by my friend. The board came KsJs6d. Usually this is a board that hits my range pretty good and I chose to continue my aggression with a cbet. My friend called and as such I knew he was not on total air. The turn was the good old 2c. I put my friend on a mixture of smaller pairs that would probably fold to another barrel, toppairs that would still call a second barrel and flushdraws that would fold here as well. I had the nutflushblocker so I chose to bluff a second barrel. I had already given up after his call when the flush hit on the river. I knew he was not holding much more flushdraws here and that this was a good card to fire a final bluff, as I knew as well, that my friend was able to do tight laydowns and that I would even get toppair and some two pair combinations to fold here. He had a K though, and another one. He snapped me off with topset and gone was half my stack. Ouch.

      After that I folded a lot and with the blinds increasing I was shortly after down to betweene 10 and 15 BBs so push or fold mode anyway. I layed down some KQ type hands in early to mid position and I even folded AJs 10BB deep against a UTG open vor 3.3x the BB followed by a call. I was rewarded picking up AQs shortly after only facing an openraise from middle position. I chose to shove in and the raiser snapcalled with A8s really not getting the right price to do so. I am still wandering why he did that, as he looked like a decent player at first glance. I am not shoving smaller pairs than 88 here and I never have weaker Aces. Funny enough I cannot have hands like KQ here, too, as by a dealers mistake the Kc was revealed already and I would never shove in such a hand knowing a king was gone. My hand held and I doubled up to around 20BB again.

      Through level four of the tournament I again folded a lot with the break about to follow. I had gotten decent hands like smaller Aces, but never enough to play for the short stack I still was. After the break the blinds did not increase for level 5, but antes were introduced. The first hand they were on I picked up AKo and was facing an openraise. Sitting on about 18BB I was happy to shove it in, which earned folds and myself the pot. Shortly after I opened 77 in early position and with my new picked up chips I chose to openraise. I got a call directly to my left, a raise from the loose calling station, a shove for 1.5x my stack and action was back on me. Against the loosy calling station I might have shoved myself even with action still behind me, but with the reshove I had to duck out of the way. The guy to my left folded and loosy goose called and tabled 66, while the reshover held AK. To be additionally salty my sevens would not only have held up, but even made a Full House on the turn. Still I knew it was the correct play to fold here and I am happy I did so. A couple hands later I picked up AK again and action folded to me in the cut off. My stack was a little under 15BB and as I would have to call a re-shove myself if I just openraised, I chose do directly go all in. My friend in the small blind raised to isolate me and after the bigblind folded he tabled AQ. I was a favorite to double up again and for the first time have above the starting stack again. The window card was a Q and a K never followed. GG.

      Overall I am really happy with my play. I liked the bluffing spot I took, especially with the extra information I had about my friend although it did not work out. After that I got my money in as a favourite twice and while it held up once it did not the second time. Still at any given point I would play the exact same way.
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      It's been another quiet week for me poker wise. The countdown for handing in my diploma thesis is ticking down towards five weeks left and there is still A LOT to do till then. I also managed to solve several problems during the last week and I am currently making huge progress towards the goal. Every now and then if I got a big step done I rewarded myself with some poker play in the evening and I still got some smaller sessions in. Overall I played a total of 3.218 hands of cash game and made a total profit of +$56.89. That puts my current bankroll at $829.62 for an overall profit of +$329.62 which puts my challenge to 7.1% of completion.

      We had another private cash game session with some friends on Saturday. I usually buy in for three bullets à 10€ before I leave after loosing everything. That way I am able to cut my losses if running bad, while still being able to make huge profit if I do run good on one of those bullets. And I can tell you grinding the short stack for some time is really profitable in this group. This week I really got nothing going. I was kind of card dead the whole evening and during a certain period I was not winning a single pot during two hours of play. As i finally picked up AQ at the end of period I was not very happy to stick it in against a raise versus my opening in a double straddled pot and in fact I did ran into AK. After that I ended the session although I only spend two of my three available bullets. Still I can not really complain about all that, as the session before I was able to make a total profit of 120€ over the evening while running insanely well. Everything evens out in the end and if you are able to maximize your profits while running good and cut your losses while running bad you are playing very profitable in the long run.

      Coming up next week I have two more private sessions with another cash game on thursday and an SnG with another playgroup on friday. That hopefully will bring up more hands to talk about and interesting situations. And once again, if you are interested in the topic of my thesis check out my personal blog at mcs1408.tumblr.com to read about that :)
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      The thesis grind continues. The poker grind falls further behind though. I played even less this week than before only scoring a meager 1.053 hands. At least I still squeeked out a profit of +$9.65 which puts my current bankroll at $839.27 for a total profit of +$339.27 which puts my challenge at 7.5% of completion.

      A fun week still it was, as I participated in two homegames on thursday and friday. Our cash game group is pretty fun, as we are a good combination of fun players, nitty regulars and degenerated gamblers. The biggest gambler of our group is the most fun to have around. First of all he doesnt really care about the stakes we are playing at and only plays for the game itself. Even if he looses quite a lot he for sure will be back for the next session. Second he pretty much plays every hand and always puts a huge amount of pressure on everybody betting large and betting often. While he plays very loose and very aggressive pre flop he has a very good post flop game and you for sure have to be careful tangling with him. When you win against him you usually win big though and he was one of the reasons of me sometimes walking away with a profit of more than 100€ even though we are only playing NL10.

      On Thursday we had a little quiet game going on. After the first two hours I was up around 10€ when our gambler arrived. Within the next 20 mins my hole stack was gone putting in my last 5€ with AK preflop against a friends AA. The action continued though and soon after I was able to double up again with my second bullet being an all in on a A84 flop holding 44 running against A8. After that we slowed down a bit, but I was still able to make a good profit being up 30€ at the end of the evening. The most notable hand after that was a blind omaha flip against four other players. We all put in two euros each and turned over one card per street. I was able to take that one down with the last of my four cards on the river making me a full house.

      On Friday it was SnG time at another friends place with a different more casual group. While I played pretty terrible during the first two hours it was still rebuy time and I was in for an additional two bullets. After rebuy and addon I was able to tighten up my game though which was kind of huge as we had a really flat blind structure. I took down a couple of huge pots while the first players were busting out. As we were down to the last five of us (top 3 were payed) everybody tightened up a lot and I was able to take down some more pots playing the players and my position which lead to me being chipleader at some point. All changed a bit around as I split with AJ against AT and lost another A9 against A8 and even while we lost another player, the last four of us were pretty even in chips. It was a very interesting situation as everybody was really short at that point having between 10 and 15BB. Playing against very tight opponents I was again able to build up a bigger stack as we finally busted out our bubble boy. It took another half an hour until the second largest stack ran his A8 into my KK and I had a 3:1 chiplead over the last remaining player. We decided to do an ICM deal and I walked away as a winner again :)
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      Always nice to see a german around the english forums! :f_thumbsup:

      I live close to Frankfurt a/m myself though I'm not a german :) Never been to Berlin yet, but I'm sure I will visit it one day!

      GL in the GRODT challenge, seems you're doing very good so far!
    • Zhusy
      Zhusy
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 382
      Why do you explain hands in text instead of posting hands with a hand converter?
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Thanks for the feedback guys :)

      @Zhusy: My life hands mostly are just short summaries of what happened. But it is probably a good idea when I am talking about a detailed online cashgame hand and I will consider doing so in the future.
    • Zhusy
      Zhusy
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 382
      Well it makes life easier, not only to you but to us too.
      Copy pasting the whole hand in the hand converter is few clicks, for you it should be a piece of cake since you are an IT like I am.

      I like watching hands but reading hands is kinda too borish and difficult. :f_drink:
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      He how is it going? Still busy with your thesis?
      Don't forget our Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread or I will have to issue you with a yellow card here (.oO and for your work,too :-()
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Thank you for the friendly reminder :) I am currently in crunch mode as I have as little as two weeks left till the dead line. Unfortunately I was not able to play poker at all during the last week and I assume it will be the same for the next two weeks. I am really looking forward to the time thereafter though, as I will grind hard to make up for everything i missed :)

      It will be a little quiet till then in this blog, but I will post my updates in the reporting thread!
    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 1,408
      Hi Max,
      Nice blog and great start to your BR challenge.
      I look forward to reading more of progress in the coming months.

      My regards

      Matt
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      It's done! I am going to hand in my thesis today! May the grind continue :)
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      Hi mcs, nice to hear with the thesis.
      How long will your professor take to check it? Do you have to give a presentation to defend your thesis?

      Anyways, found any time for poker & give us an update here: Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread ?
      Or just celebrating?

      CU,SvenBe
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Hi Sven,

      yes I have to defend the thesis and I think it will take place at the beginning of January. I will give an update in the bankroll reporting thread this evening, if that is soon enough. I managed to play some hands again during the last week and I even had another live session with another lesson to learn for me! Currently I am still doing some programming that I have to hand in a little later for the thesis, but later on today I will write another blog entry here, as well as my reporting statement.

      Cheers, Max
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      It's been a while, but I am finally back. Feels good to have spare time again and finally be able to sit down at a poker table again. While the last weeks of my thesis have been a very interesting time and I really want to thank all my friends that helped me out during that period, it still feels so good to be free again! Well, I am not totally free, yet. I still have some programming going on, that I have to hand in a little later, that is connected to my thesis, but even that will be done by the end of the week. At the last weekend of October I sat down to grind some more VPPs on pokerstars so I could keep my silver level at that time. The next time I actually played was last Wednesday so the whole effort wasn't really worth it. During that grind I fell down a bit as I did not run all that well, but also played pretty poorly being out of practice. My bankroll was sitting at a little under $800 and that is where I pick up the grind again.

      My first session went quite well, and while I felt that I had to shake some rust of, I also realized, that I had thought about the game during my days off. I really felt confident in applying principals like range advantages and when to bluff or not to c-bet because of those. As I had just picked up on those concepts at all, I think discussions I had during my absence with a couple friends where really worth it.

      An interesting situation came up during my first live session after handing in the thesis. We were playing at a friends place and things were not going all that well. It was just one of those days were your value hands did not get payed off and your bluffs either ran into the nuts or got picked off. The table also was not all that friendly at some critical points and I felt I was tilting a bit. After loosing a final AI with AJ<A7 I wanted to leave the place as I strongly felt the tilt coming. I couple not thought out comments from my friends lead to me kind of going off already before I could leave the place... I was even still tilting the next two days and realized that I had a strong problem I had to work on. While my general game maybe was a little rusty, which could probably be shaken off, my mental game was pretty much non existing. The whole time I was not able to play really got my psyche down to a point were my emotions were able to take control of my actions.

      Fortunately, I was able to sort out the disagreements with my friends, but I was still kind of shocked how that evening went. I actively chose to not participate in live cash game sessions again, until I played a decent amount online again and I again get used to the ups and downs of poker.

      Today was the next day on my online grind, which went pretty decent, but that I will leave for next week :)
    • mcs1408
      mcs1408
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.07.2014 Posts: 42
      Another week went by and the grind is slowly picking up speed again. This time around I managed to play two sessions during the last days for a total of 1432 hands which made me a profit of +$23.54. My total bankroll right now sits at $821.52 which puts the challenge at 7.1% of completion.

      After handing in my thesis about two weeks ago I still had some programming to do that was connected to the thesis and had to be handed in a little later. All this was done by Friday. This lead to me giving a big party on Saturday to celebrate the whole thing, but also freed up some time to finally start playing again. From now on I am totally free for the next two month and I have my work cut out for me. I want to earn the 5K VPP stellar reward at pokerstars, which is 1250 VPPs to go that I have to get until December 31st. I also would like to take the jump to NL25, which I will take once my bankroll reaches 40 buy-ins for that level, i.e. $1000.

      I will keep you guys up to date how I will end up doing! Until then best of luck at the felt

      Max
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